"We've focused on grassroots" – Land Rover share their PR strategy ahead of the 2015 Rugby World Cup

 The Rugby World Cup is almost here and sponsor Land Rover has initiated grassroots and elite activities to support its association with the competition, such as the #WeDealInReal campaign.

Calacus spoke with Lydia Haley, Senior Press Officer for Land Rover to find out more. 

Rugby World Cup Calacus

Why is the Rugby World Cup a good sponsorship fit for Land Rover?
Land Rover has been involved in rugby for over 20 years, and whilst we traditionally celebrate grassroots, there is also a want to be involved at what is considered the pinnacle of the game. We have in this instance decided to blend both by highlighting the grassroots of the game through our wider comms campaign and will continue to do so throughout tournament. 

What do you hope to get out of your association with the competition from corporate and consumer perspectives?
We want to highlight our presence in rugby and speak about our core values as a brand. We also want to take this sponsorship beyond the core rugby fans and speak to a wider audience.

What has your strategy been ahead of the competition this year?
We have been working on multiple strands of content and communication, working closely with England Rugby 2015 and World Rugby. Our main objective is to stand out from the crowd and not to focus too much on the elite side of the game, but draw forward the core values that rugby stands for in its grassroots.

What platforms do you focus on and how?
It is an integrated campaign, working across, social, digital and traditional PR channels. They have to be viewed as one and the same at this point, so we ensure a close relationship between all parties so that the campaign is consistent across all communication.

How much of your sponsorship relies on access to international rugby players and how much is there a focus on the grassroots aspect?
We are focusing on grassroots throughout this campaign, whilst we have integrated with some of our ambassadors, we have tried to draw back to the grassroots message as much as possible through the ambassadors and our advertising campaign featuring grassroots clubs from around the world.

What have been the most successful/enjoyable elements of your PR campaign this year?
We have been involved in so much, we are really looking forward to how this develops across tournament. I think the campaign launch early in March when we surprised the smallest club in the world, Racal Decca, with a host of global players past and present was great as it really embodied the start of the campaign.

What have been the biggest challenges you have faced?
With major tournaments, you need to be adaptable to a number of scenarios. We are continually planning to ensure that all eventualities are covered, but there is only so much you can plan for, so being reactive is massively important for us as a brand.

How have things changed from a PR perspective compared to four years ago and the last Rugby World Cup in New Zealand?
The game has changed drastically over the last four years, as has PR. You will have seen from the recent football world cup with a number of brands, integrated campaigns are vitally important to ensure cut through as a brand. Ensuring our social and PR integration fully aligned is vitally important.   

How will you measure the success of PR activity for the campaign?
We have key metrics we are working towards, but ensuring positive sentiment for the brand and its association with rugby is a very important goal.  

To find out more about Land Rover’s Rugby World Cup sponsorship, please click HERE